UK businesses vow not to use illegal pork
NewsWednesday 07 August 2013
Seven months ago the European Union brought in a ban on keeping sows in stalls - not including the first four weeks of pregnancy. However, half of the nations that are under its jurisdiction have failed to clamp down on illegal confinement of pigs for most of their lives.
In response to this news the National Pig Association - NPA - went on to warn retailers and food manufacturers that they will have to continue to be vigilant.
The NPA has also argued that the consumers of Britain will expect all imported pork and pork products to be traceable back to farms that comply with the January 2013 ban.
The latest data to come out has shown that only 13 member countries are fully compliant with these new regulations. These nations are - Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Sow stalls were banned outright in the United Kingdom in 1999.
The European Commission began infringement proceedings against nine countries in February — Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland and Portugal. The Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Finland, and Slovenia are still being investigated.
As an incentive to prevent these infringing nations from being able to sell their pork to British retailers, the NPA has introduced a ‘Wall of Fame’ campaign. This will highlight retailers who have pledged not to import from non-compliant Continental farms.
In order to keep this campaign official, the organisation is currently carrying out a number of spot checks to ensure companies are sticking to their word.
One hundred leading brands and companies have gone on to pledge total traceability when it comes to the imported pork and pork products that they sell. These include most of the major retailers and leading foodservice companies such as McDonald’s, Costa and the Premier Inn.
NPA general manager Dr Zoe Davies told the NFU: “Sow stalls are narrow cages. They make life easier for pig farmers, but they are medieval in the eyes of British consumers because the sows spend most of their lives being able to do little more than stand up and lie down.
"The response to our campaign for traceable higher-welfare pork for British consumers has been outstanding — far better than we ever envisaged."
Picture: Linda N